Project Light of Manatee, Inc.
1104 14th Street West
Bradenton FL 34205

To teach English to adult speakers of other languages (ESOL) in our  community. 

CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
Board Chair Mr. Michael Wolsh
Board Chair Affiliation Retired
General Info
Organization DBA
Project Light English Language Learning Center of Manatee
Project Light
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1994
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Mar 2017
State Registration Exempt 0
Financial Summary
IRS Letter of Determination
Project Light 501(c)(3)View
Impact Statement


  • In 2014, we celebrated our 20th year of service to the community with an Anniversary Luncheon.
  • In 2015, Project Light provided English language instruction to 100 students with the help of 40 Volunteer Classroom Teachers. 
  • 2015 was a very challenging year for us as we lost about 60% of our annual funding. In spite of this setback, we managed not only to survive but to strengthen  our core Curriculum and Instruction Program; enrolled more students and hire a new Program Director to manage the day to day operation of the school.  
  • In 2016, we plan to modernize and integrate our marketing, web communications and  fundraising.
  • Expand our ESOL Program by offering classes on Fridays and two evenings a week for our working students.
  • In 2016 we upgraded our website; increased fund raising and expanded our classes to include Fridays and two evenings per week. More than 400 students availed themselves of our service. 


Needs Statement
  1. Upgrade & Improve our Website with better connectivity with all social media $5,000.
  2. Develop a robust digital marketing system to increase individual donations, with a  mix of  direct snail mail and email solicitations. $10,000.
  3. Improve the management and maintenance of our Grant Writing Program and our donors list. $2,000.
  4. Salaries for a Part Time Program Director and Secretary $40,000.
  5. Capital improvement of our own building $50,000.
Background Statement

Project Light of Manatee Inc., is a volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to providing English language instruction to adult Speakers of Other Languages, (ESOL) so that they may become productive members of our community. 

In 1994, Sister Nora Brick founded Project Light to teach English to adult Speakers of Other Languages in our community. She felt that competency in English would equip the students with the confidence and skills necessary to fully participate as a productive member of our community.
Founded on the principles of access, equality, dignity, and opportunity for all, Project Light continues to carry out its mission within the context of Sister Nora's vision of empowering students to more fully and meaningfully engage in our community's life and culture. 

Our student population is diverse, representing Mexico; Central and South America; Haiti and the French and Spanish Caribbean; Canada, Europe and Eastern Europe as well.

We at Project Light have palpable proof  almost daily of the positive impact we have on our students. We see their smiling faces and joy when they get their first job...Are better able to communicate with their children's teacher and help them with homework... able to advocate for their families' health needs.
In addition our students are great advocate of  our program as they become a role model for their peers.
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments Project Light is conveniently located in downtown Bradenton for easy access from Manatee and Sarasota counties.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Education
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type Education
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Our organizational success can be summed up by our twenty (20) years of service to adult students residing in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. The fact that we managed not only to survive but to thrive during one of the most turbulent and challenging economic and social period of our time, is a feat in itself.  It is also an attestation to the superior stewardship of  our past Board Members and Officers of Project Light. 
Before I was elected Board President in November 2015,  I first served as a Volunteer Classroom Teacher, and later as a member of the Board. One of the main reasons I am so passionate about our mission, is because I know first hand how difficult it is to live in the USA, and not being able to speak English. 
I came to the United States in 1958, as a political refugee fleeing the regime of  Papa Doc, in Haiti. I had just graduated from St. Louis de Gonzague High School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with a bright future ahead of me. Instead of going to a university in Europe as planned by my parents, I had to run for my life. At the age of eighteen. I landed in New York City alone and without any adult supervision or support. Intuitively, I knew what I had to do and enrolled in evening English classes at a public school. Although I had a good education, it meant nothing without fluency in the English language. After a year in NYC, and  a series of menial jobs in factories, I was competent enough in English to pass the test to enlist in the U.S. Marines. From there I went to earn  B.S. and M.S. degrees,  followed by a career on Wall Street in Investment Banking...the rest is history...but I never forgot how I first started in that public school learning English at night. Because I could not communicate, I was forced to live an isolated and lonely life in NYC,  
As Board President of  Project Light, I will continue to oversee and maintain good organizational governance and policy setting with a focus on our mission, direction, priorities and evaluation of programs.
I will ensure that as an organization we are in compliance with best practices necessary for good governance.
I am also very proud to lead this fine organization and ensuring its ability to continue carrying out its mission.
Project Light's student enrollment continues to grow every year and our core Corriculum and Instruction Program is solid. However, due to an aging marketing system, we are unable to keep up with the financial imperative that our growth demands. Therefore,  my top priority will be to convert our present operation to a modern digital marketing systems starting with an upgrade of our Website.
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
Project Light is a twenty years old grass roots language center providing English instruction to adult students for a one time nominal $30.00 registration fee. For the school year 2015/2016, we instituted a $15.00 fee to returning students. This fee is waived when circumstances dictate.
Description Project Light offers daily morning English language classes to adults as well as evening classes twice a week, using a proven Curriculum and Instruction Program, perfected over the last twenty (20) years. Students gradually progress through three (3) levels of instruction. This is our core program that is now sustained with a $50,000 yearly budget.  
Budget $50,000
Category Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated Latin America & the Caribbean Adults
Short Term Success Our Program Director continuously monitors students English language proficiency level. Tests are administered routinely to determine students progress and evaluate their proficiency, before they are assigned to a class at a higher level.
Long Term Success Project Light started offering English classes in 1995. By 1999, its student population went from 39 students to 80 students per quarter in 2011 and 100 in 2015, Because of  fluency in English, our students are able to get their first job and continue to progress. Simply, the more proficient they become the more opportunities become  available to them for better jobs. Employers also benefit with a diverse labor force able to communicate in English on the job. It's a Win, Win, Win situation for the communities we service. 
Program Success Monitoring Students' progress is monitored and recorded on a daily basis by their classroom teachers.Upon reaching proficiency in their current level, they are tested by our Program Director. .
Program Success Examples A typical student at Project Light comes to us unable to speak English. In a very short time, six (6) months, depending on how often they are able to attend classes, they learn enough English to get an entry level position on the night shift at a Walmart, usually stacking shelves. After a year, those that come to the US with a trade, are able to get a good paying job in construction as a carpenter, mason, etc. They continue to progress in their career by attending our evening classes get their GED and attend a community college. 
Program Comments by Organization

Our core Program is a well developed Curriculum & Instruction ESOL Program, perfected over the last twenty (20) years.

In 2015, Project Light had a very challenging year due to a dramatic drop in individual donor contributions as well as Grant approvals. At the same time, students enrollment continued to grow, thereby putting additional pressure on our dwindling resources. It is a feat in itself that we were able to survive and grow and this is largely due to the excellent stewardship of our Treasurer.
In 2016 and 2017 our top priority as an organization will be to develop a robust Marketing System whereby we will transition from an antiquated manual system of  fundraising to a modern Web communication and fundraising system.  We believe that this can be done successfully and cost-effectively to maximize our nonprofit's return on investment (ROI)
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email

Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Ann Griffin Sept 1995 - June 2005
Sally Radice Jan 2003 - Dec 2013
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % N/A
Professional Development No
Contractors 0
Volunteers 35
Management Reports to Board N/A
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Catholic Relief Award - Leadership in Charity & JusticeDiocese of Venice1998
Project Light Day - Proclamation by Mayor Wayne PostonCity of Bradenton2001
Golden Gavel AwardSarasota Herald Tribune1996
Golden Gavel AwardSarasota Herald Tribune1997
Golden Gavel AwardSarasota Herald Tribune1999
Golden Gavel AwardSarasota Herald Tribune2000
Certificate of AppreciationHealthy Start Coalition of Manatee County2003
Certificate of AppreciationHealthy Start Coalition of Manatee County2005
Finalist - WEDU BE More AwardsWEDU2010
Celebration of Service AwardReturning Peace Corps Volunteers2017
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years 2
Strategic Plan Adopted Feb 2014
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Management Comments by Organization Recruiting and training new volunteer instructors, recruiting new board members, and hiring full time, paid staff are the current challenges faced by Project Light.  We are confident that this is an opportunity to have a realistic plan with short and long term goals.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Michael Wolsh
Company Affiliation Retired
Board Term Jan 2017 to Dec 2017
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Father Tom Bielawa retired
Mr. Randy Cooper R. Cooper Engineering
Mr. Charles Cunningham Retired Executive
Ms. Ann Griffin retired
Mr. Michael Wolsh Retired - Attorney
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 4
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 3
Female 1
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 11
Board Meeting Attendance % 91
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Governance Comments by Organization
Project Light is a small nonprofit organization and therefore,we do not see the need for standing committees. Instead, in December 2015, the Board decided to operate as a  "working Board," whereby each Board member is assigned specific duties.  
The Board was in transition for the better part of  2015, and at one point was down to 4 voting members. We then lost our Program Director and 3 Board members very quickly. It was a tour de force for the rest of us on the Board to be able to regroup and reshape our Board. and hire a new Program Director. 
We again are temporarily down to four Board members. However, day to day operations are not affected in large part because of the excellent management of the Program Director and the Board's willingness to help out in the office and having one teacher who is a Board member. New members will be recruited as soon as possible. Michael Wolsh is acting President of the Board. 
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Start Month Jan
Fiscal Year Start Day 01
Fiscal Year Begins 2017
Fiscal Year End Month Dec
Fiscal Year End Day 31
Fiscal Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $40,500.00
Projected Expenses $38,500.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$22,285$37,320$31,172
Administration Expense$16,899$1,881$9,469
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.310.720.91
Program Expense/Total Expenses57%95%77%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$0$0$0
Current Assets$0$0$0
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$0$0$0
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $47,567Contributions, gifts, grants $25,398Contributions, gifts, grants $24,120
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountRegistration Fees $3,850Registration Fees $2,970Foundation & Corporate Support $6,500
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountOther $36Investment Income $15Registration Fees $3,275
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets------
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization Project Light operates month to month, working to ensure it has sufficient funds/donations to cover monthly operating costs. If Project Light was free of this funding uncertainty, more effort and resources could be concentrated on developing and offering enhanced/expanded programs to address the broad needs of our student base. These areas would include computer literacy and language instruction, GED test preparation, and U.S. citizenship preparation.
Financial Comments by Foundation
Financial figures for 2006, 2007 & 2008 are taken from IRS Form 990s. With receipts under $25,000, 990-N was filed for 2009 - 2011 & 2013. Compilations for 2013 - 2015 did not include balance sheet information.  Audits were not provided.  990s were prepared by Treasurer.  Foundation, corporations and congregations are included with individual contributions, as reported in 990s.
Nonprofit Project Light of Manatee, Inc.
Address 1104 14th Street West
Bradenton, FL 34205
Phone 941 745-1659